How To Remove Pesticides From Fruits And Vegetables

3 Simple Hacks To Naturally Remove Dirt, Bacteria And Chemicals From Your Produce

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When it comes to agriculture, farmers turn to pesticides in order to protect their crops against fungi, insects, pests, weeds and various diseases that would otherwise destroy up to 40% of annual crops.

Unfortunately, saving crops comes with a horrible price. Exposure to pesticides can cause cancer, tumors, wreak havoc on our nervous system, weaken our immunity, and disrupt our reproductive hormones.

Even organic produce falls victim to spray drifts as well as direct pesticide sprays that have been approved for use on organic fruits and vegetables— copper sulfate being one of them (and unfortunately, it’s pretty toxic).

Lastly, organic or not, no produce is free from wax coating, germs and bacterial contamination, so it is crucial to properly give all of your fruits and vegetables a good rinse—even those whose packaging states that the contents are pre-washed.

With that said, below are three popular and effective methods to remove impurities as well as pesticides from your produce that take very little effort.

All three involve soaking your produce in water with three powerhouse pantry ingredients that are safe to use and are very inexpensive.

For larger, thick-skinned fruits and vegetables, you can also use a bamboo scrub brush, which I like to use on potatoes—especially if I am baking them.

Also, it’s important to know that you shouldn’t wash berries until you are ready to eat them, as soaking them in these solutions can cause them to go bad super fast if put back in the fridge.

All other fruits and vegetables can and should be washed as soon as you bring them home. That’s because the longer pesticides sit on your produce, the more they penetrate the skin.

The Three Methods To Naturally Remove Dirt, Bacteria And Pesticides From Your Produce

The Baking Soda Method

Soaking produce in a sink or bowl full of water and baking soda is a fantastic way to clean your produce! Baking soda is an alkaline that strips away pesticides by breaking down their chemical structure into neutral molecules that are no longer harmful.

Simply fill up your sink, bowl or any other container, and add one teaspoon of baking soda per every 2 cups of water. Allow your fruits and vegetables to float around for about 15 minutes and then rinse them off with regular water.

The Vinegar Method

Adding white vinegar to water is another common method that effectively removes bacteria and pesticides from fruits and vegetables. That’s because vinegar contains acetic acid, which dissolves pesticides and kills about 98 percent of bacteria.

Simply fill up your sink, bowl or any other container, and add one part vinegar per 4 parts of water. I like to add 1/4 cup of vinegar per every 2 cups of water, so that the solution isn’t too acidic. Allow your fruits and vegetables to float around for about 15-20 minutes and then rinse them off with regular water.

Whenever I clean store-bought apples in the vinegar/water solution, I’m always in awe of how even the wax starts to strip off. It’s simply fantastic how powerful and effective vinegar is!

The Salt Water Method

The third method that many people use to cleanse their produce involves soaking fruits and vegetables in [sea] salt water. And while this is effective, it does tend to alter the flavor of berries, so it’s best to use on vegetables, which typically get salted anyway when cooking.

Simply fill up your sink, bowl or any other container, and add one teaspoon of sea salt per every 2 cups of water. Allow your fruits and vegetables to float around for about 15 minutes and then rinse them off with regular water.

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Potty Chair Or Potty Seat: Which Is Best For Potty Training?

The Pros And Cons Of Potty Chairs And Potty Seats

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When your toddler finally begins to show signs that they are ready to begin potty training, you can ensure their success by choosing the right potty for them to practice on.

Potty training always begins with an introduction to a potty chair or adult toilet with a potty seat attached, and each has its own set of pros and cons.

It’s important to know that there is no right or wrong choice when purchasing a potty training device, and it all comes down to what you and your child are most comfortable using.

In my household, my son potty trained using a potty seat, while my daughter used a potty chair. My son was always a tall child, and sitting on the adult toilet with a portable potty seat made him feel more comfortable. My daughter, on the other hand, is petite, so the height of mom’s toilet was a bit intimidating for her.

So, to help you decide on what might work best for your household, I’ve listed all the advantages and disadvantages to using a potty chair and a potty seat.

POTTY CHAIR

Pros Of Using Potty Chairs

  • Portable and easily accessible—can be placed in any room of the house.
  • Less intimidating and easier to use than a full-size toilet.
  • Less scary because it does not flush and make a loud noise.
  • They are safer than toilet rings because they are lower to ground—reducing any risk of injury.

Cons Of Using Potty Chairs

  • Potty chairs have to be cleaned manually—poop takes extra effort to clean out because it sticks to the plastic.
  • They are bulky which means that they can take up floor space in a small bathroom, and can be inconvenient to travel with.
  • Even if your child masters the potty chair, they will eventually have to transition to the toilet—the beginning of another challenge.

Recommendations

Baby Björn Potty Training Chair

Little Chicks Easy-Clean Potty

Fisher-Price Sea Me Flush Potty

Baby Björn Potty Chair

POTTY SEAT

Pros Of Using Potty Seats

  • Potty Seats are much easier to clean up because waste goes straight into the toilet.
  • They are travel friendly because they’re flat and can be stowed into a tote bag.
  • They facilitate an easier transition to the toilet because your child is already used to sitting on it.

Cons Of Using Potty Seats

  • Toilet rings must stay in bathroom, and aren’t as convenient as potty chairs which can be used in other parts of the house.
  • Using a potty seat requires the need for a sturdy step stool to be placed next to the toilet so that your child can have easy access.
  • The height of mom and dad’s toilet can be intimidating to your child and this can deter them from using it.
  • The height of an adult toilet can also be unsafe. If the potty ring isn’t sturdy, or if a child squirms too much, they can fall off and hurt themselves.

Recommendations:

Baby Björn Toilet Trainer

Skyroku Potty Training Seat With Ladder

Jool Folding Travel Potty Seat

Baby Björn Potty Seat

Potty training is a lot of work, but with the right tools, your child will eventually transition out of training pants and into big kid underwear!

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Eco-Friendly Easter Crafts For Kids

Fun And Easy Easter Crafts To Make With Your Kids

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Every year, as Easter slowly approaches, I look for fun and easy Easter themed crafts that I can do with my children.

Crafting is a great way to celebrate and learn the meaning of certain holidays, and it’s also a fantastic way to work on fine motor skills!

How Can I Make Easter Crafts Eco-Friendly?

When it comes to arts and crafts, I always encourage myself, as well as my children, to use environmentally friendly supplies that can either be up-cycled, recycled, or composted. Some examples are:

  • Kraft + Construction Paper
  • Non-Toxic Glue
  • Glass Jars
  • Felt Paper
  • Egg Cartons
  • Toilet Paper + Paper Towel Tubes

Not all art and crafting supplies are 100% eco-friendly, and that’s ok. Some projects require the use of certain items like googly eyes; and I have no problem using them even though they are made from plastic because I can always reuse them on future projects. And if they make my child laugh and giggle, then I am all for it.

Below are some of my favorite low-waste Easter crafts for kids that we have been enjoying, and we hope you will too. They are super fun and easy to create, and look great when completed!

Easy Easter DIY Projects For Kids

Danya Banya

Paper Plate Sheep Mask For Kids

Blog | DanyaBanya

This sheep mask craft is a fantastic project for both toddlers and preschoolers. It’s easy, it’s fun, and it promotes imaginative play! Check out the full tutorial for this Easter-themed craft on Danya’s website!

Handimania

No Sew Sock Bunny

YouTube Channel | Handimania

You and your kids can make adorable sock bunnies without the need for any patterns or needles. All you need are some socks, rice, ribbons, a pair of scissors, and a marker. These can be used as Easter basket fillers, or as home decor!

CompostAndCava

Recycled Yogurt Jar Bunnies

Blog | CompostandCava

Join Reese at Compost And Cava as she teaches you how to turn Oui by Yoplait yogurt jars into festive Easter decor. They can be filled with flowers, jelly beans and other Easter goodies! This Easter craft for kids is a great way to upcycle old jars, and a fantastic way to save money on Easter home decor.

Easy Kids Craft

Bobble Head Paper Bunny

YouTube Channel | Easy Kids Craft

Learn how to make fun and easy bobble head paper bunnies! This Easter craft for kids is a fun way to get creative! So grab some scissors, paper, glue and googly eyes, and have fun with this Easter activity!

Crafty Morning

Mini Popsicle Stick Chicks

Blog | Crafty Morning

Michelle at Crafty Morning teaches you and your child how to make these super simple popsicle stick chics! This eco-friendly Easter craft for kids lets you reuse some popsicle sticks, turning them into adorable Easter icons!

Rocking Paper Plate Bunny Craft For Kids

YouTube Channel | Easy Peasy And Fun

If you and your kids love paper plate crafts, then you’ll really enjoy this easy rocking paper plate bunny craft! Give them a gentle push, and watch them sway side to side.

Iheartartsncrafts

Yarn Wrapped Handprint Carrot Craft For Kids

Blog | iheartartsncrafts

Join Jackie at iheartartsncrafts as she teaches you and your child how to make a yarn wrapped carrot craft this season! This eco-friendly Easter craft is super simple and looks great when it’s put together!

Design Mom

Salt Dough Easter Egg Ornaments

Blog | DesignMom

Who doesn’t love a natural ornament? Gabrielle from Design Mom teaches you how to create all-natural Easter egg ornaments from salt dough. These can even be hung on your rear view mirror!

Champs Crafts

Spring Chicks Egg Carton Crafts

YouTube Channel | ChampCrafts

This awesome eco-friendly Easter craft is all about reusing those egg cartons to create adorable chicks! It’s a simple and fun project that can be composted if used with plant-based paints!

Q-Tip Lamb Craft

Blog | One Little Project

Debbie from One Little Project shows you how to make this adorable Q-tip lamb! For an eco-friendly twist, you can use all-cotton or bamboo q-tips instead of the ones with the plastic handles. This is super cute for a puppet show, or glue a magnet to the back and stick it on the fridge!

Housing A Forest

Paper Plate Chick

Blog | Housing A Forest

What I love most about this Easter craft by Housing A Forest, is that you can make it into a princess or turn it into one of the Avengers. For an eco-friendly twist, you can leave out the glitter and perhaps use macaroni instead of rhinestones.

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The Best Maternity Photoshoot Dresses And Gowns

Show Off Your Bump In These Must-Have Maternity Photoshoot Gowns!

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Maternity photos are all about celebrating the miracle of life that’s growing inside of you, the extraordinary changes that your body goes through, and becoming a mother—whether it’s for the first time, or the 8th.

With that said, each pregnancy is special, and many pregnant women want to commemorate that beautiful moment in time with a maternity photoshoot that they can cherish for a lifetime.

Which Week Is Best For A Maternity Photoshoot?

The best time for a pregnancy photoshoot is during the 7th or 8th month of pregnancy (30-36 weeks), and there are a couple of good reasons for this specific timeframe.

It is during these specific weeks that your bump transforms into that perfectly round shape that sits nice and high. It’s also that time where you’re slowly approaching your due date, and literally anything can happen.

So as long as you’re satisfied with the size of your pregnant belly, don’t be afraid to schedule a maternity photoshoot as early as week 30.

What If I am Carrying Twins or Multiples?

If you are carrying twins or multiple babies, the best time to participate in a maternity photoshoot is around the beginning of your second trimester. That’s because carrying multiple babies makes your belly grow at a faster pace, and you’re most likely going to deliver early as well.

What Is The Best Color To Wear For Maternity Pictures?

One of the most common questions that many photographers get asked is what color dress works best in a maternity photo shoot? And believe it or not, there are actually certain colors that do better than others.

The color red, for example, comes out looking beautiful because it contrasts well against many backgrounds—especially if your photography session is out in nature.

Light blues and just about any shade of pink looks lovely as well—plus, they represent the gender of the baby! So many parents choose to go with these two colors.

A vibrant gold or yellow dress also looks fabulous against an earthy or dark background—think Kate Hudson in ”How To Loose A Guy In 10 Days”—I LOVED that dress!

Now, when it comes to white and black, photographers say that those shades do not do your bump justice. They are just two colors that ”hide” the belly instead of bringing it out. They do, however, look great in black and white photos.

Below is a round-up of timeless maternity gowns that are perfect for a beautiful photoshoot. Some can even be worn post-pregnancy! These dresses will have you looking confident and absolutely gorgeous, and you’ll have wonderful keepsakes that you can cherish for a lifetime.

Fabulous Maternity Gowns For Timeless Photoshoots!

Brand | Lamosi

Size Range | S—4XL

This elegant maternity gown doubles as a robe, and according to the brand, is customizable without any extra fees. It’s a super fancy design with a flowy train, and for this reason is perfect for a one of a kind maternity photoshoot!

Brand | PinkBlush

Size Range | S—L

This charming chiffon maternity maxi dress features long, cuffed sleeves with buttons, a cinched elastic waist, pleated details, a waist tie, and a v-neckline. It is double lined to prevent sheerness, and can be worn post-baby bump!

Brand | Banetteta

Size Range | S—3XL

This off the shoulder mermaid gown is perfect for a pregnancy photoshoot and your baby shower! You can also wear the dress as is, or add a sash or belt around the middle to give it a little something extra. This dress is stretchy, easy to move around in, and super comfortable.

Brand | Ziumudy

Size Range | One Size Fits Most

This beautiful maternity gown looks gorgeous in an outdoor setting—especially if there’s a little bit of wind to make the chiffon train come to life. It also has a sweetheart neckline, and off-the-shoulder sleeves to make you look and feel like a princess.

Brand | PinkBlush

Size Range | Small—XL

This pretty metallic maternity photoshoot gown by PinkBlush features an off shoulder elastic neckline with a wrap front style, long sleeves, mermaid style skirt with form-fitting ruched sides, cinching under the bust, and a hi-low hemline with a slight train. It’s a beautiful and elegant design that can also look great in baby shower photos!

Brand | Myzeroing

Size Range | S—XXL

This beautiful floral lace maternity gown is perfect for the earthy mama who loves the boho-chíc fashion style. This dress contains an elegant train and off-the-shoulder sleeves, and is available in many colors, but this vibrant yellow shade is simply gorgeous!

Brand | Saslax

Size Range | XS—XXL

This fabulous maternity dress looks like the dress that Julia Roberts wore to the opera in Pretty Woman. It’s the perfect style and shade if you’re looking for some serious contrast, and it’s quite comfortable to have on.

Brand | JustVH

Size Range | S-XL

This budget-friendly maternity dress looks elegant and offers a comfortable slim fit that outlines your baby bump perfectly! Many moms to be are loving this dress, and it’s an affordable buy without losing style or quality.

Brand | Ever-Pretty

Size Range | 4—16

This beautiful white maternity dress is especially perfect for black and white photos. It’s also great for a baby shower, and perhaps even a minimalist wedding.

Brand | PinkBlush

Size Range | S—XL

If you want to add a little bling to your maternity photoshoot, this sequin maternity gown by PinkBlush is the way to go! It contains a v-neckline, is cinched under the bust, and is lined to prevent sheerness.

Brand | Formaldresses

Size Range | 6—26Plus

This rainbow maternity dress is absolutely perfect for a rainbow baby maternity photo shoot! It has beautiful flowy layers that look magical in some light wind, and the soft pastel colors look dreamy against a sunset.

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